Somewhere at this very moment, a man is leaving his wife for another woman.
He declares with defeat, “I’m just not in love with you anymore.” He says he feels a connection or chemistry with the mistress.
A woman is packing her bags and abandoning her husband and children – to live with the man she’s been cheating with. “I’m just not happy here any longer. I deserve to be happy, you know,” she states emphatically.
At this very moment, a young man is applying make-up and choosing to dress like a woman – because he feels like a woman. His parents are heartbroken, grieving the loss of a son.
A young mother murdered her four young children by driving her car into the ocean with the children strapped inside. She “felt overwhelmed” in a rocky marriage and wanted to punish her not-so-good husband by taking his children.
A divorced woman has decided to live as a lesbian from now on, having been hurt by men too many times.
Too many souls are giving in to suicide tonight – feeling there’s no other answer.
Somewhere, a well-meaning but misguided couple decide to raise their daughter without letting her know that she’s a girl. They don’t speak of gender, and they dress her in gender-neutral clothing and give her only gender-neutral toys. They believe she/he/it should just “decide on their own” if they want to be a male or female.
A middle-aged couple lives in poverty – not because they don’t have sufficient income, but because of a spending addiction. It may feel good for a moment, but then it hurts… not only the couple, but everyone around them.
Others hoard things, the clutter in their lives holding them hostage because of emotions and thinking habits run amuck.
Somewhere, a man is addicted to pornography, because it makes him feel good for a few moments.
A 15-year-old girl compromises her dignity and purity for a few minutes of pleasure. This deceptive trap almost feels like love.
Somewhere a toddler is hungry and walking around in a soiled diaper while his mom is crashed on the sofa. She chose to pop pills and shoot up her veins with something to make her feel better – or feel nothing.
A woman slips a necklace and a nice watch into her purse while the store clerk isn’t looking. Shoplifting gives her a momentary thrill and sense of control.
I would venture to suggest that most of the humanity lives according to the dictates of their FEELINGS. They reject any defining code of morality based upon the unchanging Word of God. And our world is a sadder place for it.
Let me say, I am also human, and I am not immune to– nor exempt from– this reality. Alone in our frail humanness, we ultimately cannot resist every evil, selfish urge that our flesh desires. Without supernatural help, we are much like a baby kitten left to its devices in the great outdoors. Thinking ourselves to be invincible, we’d end up stuck high in a tree, wailing for rescue.
We need healthy boundaries in order to have truly happy lives, just as little children need boundaries from their loving parents.
Our omniscient (all-knowing) and omnipotent (all-powerful) God created us with emotions, like Himself, since we are made “in the image of God”. Emotions — passion, sadness, joy, longing, even anger or jealousy for proper reasons — are not evil. What we do with our emotions is the critical, make-or-break issue.
Jesus Himself experienced every human emotion that we do: love, anger, laughter and joy, deep sorrow, frustration, loneliness, and even feelings of abandonment and betrayal. (You may enjoy this article I found on “10 Real-Life Emotions Jesus Expressed”.)
Jesus also experienced every temptation to sin known to humankind – yet, without sinning, the Bible says. (See Hebrews 2:18, Heb. 5:2, Romans 8:3)
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us live our lives consistent with our confession of faith. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses. Instead, we have one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet he never sinned. So let us keep on coming boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16
Since the Garden of Eden, Satan continues to deceive people into believing that God must not be good if He withholds anything from us that our heart desires. That LIE continues to mislead people and destroy lives.
Most of us have witnessed a parent caving in to a five-year-old who’s throwing a temper fit. Sadly, that parent is only doing what seems easiest to achieve a temporary peace treaty between them and the little brat who’s really in control.
A good parent endeavors to teach – and model – self-control and self-discipline. A toddler’s urge to run out into the busy street must be met with swift and loving arms to swoop him up and say, “No!” Real, self-sacrificing love must include boundaries – for our well-being, peace, and a happier life over the long-run.
We adults are the same way. Since the beginning of time, humans have given in to every type of sin (the same temptations that Jesus faced- yet He did NOT give in to sin). The Apostle Paul wrote to the new believers in Galatians Chapter 5:13-26 about what “freedom” really means:
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh…
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh
with its passions and desires.
1st Corinthians Chapter 6 spells it out plainly, but also gives us hope of a changed life!
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor people who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards … nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
That’s GREAT NEWS! We CAN change (with God’s help)!
We’ve all heard, “The truth will set you free.” Well, it’s true – and JESUS is the One Who said this: “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free… So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (From John 8:31-32, 36)
The truth is, sin is a cruel and deceitful taskmaster. Luring souls with promises of pleasure, it enslaves its captives with eventual misery – and ultimately, physical and spiritual death.
God loved us too much to leave us like this! Believing and walking in His TRUTH – and rejecting the LIES of our flesh — will keep us from falling into Satan’s snares.
In researching this article, I ran across a great post by Andi Andrew, called “What Truth Will Set Us Free?” Worth the read!
Speaking of lives changed by believing the truth, I’ve always loved the music and incredible testimony of Dennis Jernigan. A fellow Christian songwriter and worship leader, Dennis formerly lived a homosexual lifestyle. Since he found freedom in Christ in 1981 (a 7-year process), he’s been sharing his inspiring, hope-giving story with millions. I was riveted by his book, “Renewing Your Mind: Identity and the Matter of Choice”. (No, I won’t get one penny if you purchase the book – I just highly recommend this resource;)
I can honestly say that if I made decisions based upon how I felt all the time, my life would be in shambles.
I’d rarely get out of bed in the morning, and I wouldn’t cook many meals or balance my checkbook. I, and the people I love the most, would suffer horribly. I doubt we’d give money to orphans and impoverished people around the world (unless we did it to look good), because we’d rather spend it on ourselves.
I could easily consume half a package of Oreo cookies if I allowed my emotions to dictate my actions and reactions – especially when I’m under stress.
When temptation comes our way, we have a choice. Even Jesus had a choice, when He faced a cruel death by crucifixion. He even prayed, “Lord, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not My will, but Thine be done.” The Bible says He chose obedience, all the way to His death on the cross – because of the joy that was to come.
Jesus chose the difficult route (in those hours of physical, emotional and spiritual anguish) to make it possible for humankind to be rescued from the slavery of sin. It went against every human emotion in His body. Jesus knew the truth, and He trusted in His Heavenly Father’s promises.
2nd Corinthians 10:4-5 instructs us what to do with every thought (which transfer to feelings– and often, temptation) that enters our mind:
“ 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
May we choose what is right, not necessarily what our emotions, temptations, or short-sighted decisions may dictate. Taking every thought “captive” and putting it through the “filter” of God’s Word…. that’s how we can walk in true freedom.
Becky Wright is a Christian singer/songwriter, speaker and writer. A passionate advocate for adoption, foster care, and caring for orphans worldwide, Becky and her husband are blessed parents of nine children through various means. Wright Ministries is a Department of Artists in Christian Testimony, International, a 501c3 Non-profit ministry based in the Nashville, TN. Your donations help share the love of God and rescue orphans worldwide through Becky’s ministries. Subscribe to Becky’s blog and ministry news to get free goodies, new music, and behind-the-scenes updates. http://www.beckywrightsongs.com
It really hit me when you quoted the fruit of the spirit. . . In my past mistakes of making decisions in anger, or depression, despair, or even a cold hardness. . .I wish I could have stepped away and asked myself what is patient, kind, good, joyous, peaceful, and fair to myself and others here. Thank you for sharing part of your journey Becky.
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